After winning the Coaching Club American Oaks (G1),
Princess of Sylmar is fast becoming the people’s horse. Principle owner, Ed Stanco of the King
of Prussia Stable brought over 100 friends and family to Saratoga for her
eighth career start.
The cheering began in the
paddock when Princess was being saddled and continued as she walked out to the
track with jockey Javier Castellano aboard. The shouts of “Princess!” could be
heard throughout the track.
As expected My Happy Face
took the lead right out of the gate and set the early steady and moderate
fractions of :24.60, :48.98, and :1:12.24. Cue the Moon and Marathon Lady, who each had only a maiden victory to their credit, tried to stay close to the
In the clubhouse turn
Princess began to make her move on the outside, passing horses rather easily.
Owner Ed Stanco commented that, “Javier said she went right by on her own. The
pace was slow and he kept her back and she just galloped. It was really great.”
Coming down the stretch
she easily passed My Happy Face and extended her lead to the final margin of
six lengths as My Happy Face held on for second.
The victory gave Todd
Pletcher his fifth win in the CCA Oaks.
His previous four winners were: Devil May Care 2010, Octave 2007, Ashado
2004, and Tweedside 2001.
Stanco described the
victory, “We won this little race on a Saturday afternoon at this little
country track called Saratoga and what a great thing, what a great thing."
He also talked about the
importance of winning at the Spa. “It’s big. I was thrilled the day we won a
maiden race at Saratoga with our New York-bred and here we are. This is really, really a special time.”
There was no question that
the Princess of Sylmar team was looking for another victory today. “This is a big, big stepping stone.
Everyone said to me is this a prep? And my response to that was, ‘A grade one
race is not a prep.’ ”
Stanco said that their fan
favorite will be at Saratoga later in the summer, “What can I say? This is
phenomenal. She is on her way. Todd manages everything, of course. If she comes
out well she goes to the Alabama [Aug. 17} and then we’ll finish up at the
The win in the CCA Oaks
gives Princess of Sylmar her second grade one stake victory of the year along
with the Kentucky Oaks. The 2013 running of the Kentucky Oaks was considered to
be one of the strongest fields in many years. These two wins clearly put
Princess at the top of the three year-old filly division.